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Google’s Success With Product Listing Ads

April 6, 2014
Google increases Q4 2013 spending, impressions, and clicks with Google’s Product Listing Ads. Mobile brought high gains with smartphone clicks increasing 1,589% and tablet clicks increasing 335.7% over Q4 2012. Mobile enhancements boost PLA click share up to one-quarter.

Google took a gamble when it introduced its Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs), search ads that also include price and image in the results.  The risk paid off when the company experienced increased growth over Q4 2013, after launching the new enhanced listing option.  Since the launch of PLA, ad spending increased 71% quarterly and 164.8% annually, according to The Search Agency.  This came with a 0.28% boost to Google’s total spend share.

A rise in impressions and clicks is key the PLA success story.  Over consecutive years, impressions increased 82.9 while impressions increased by 63.4% quarterly.  Over Q4 2013, total clicks doubled after increasing by 63.4 percent over Q3 2013.  The result: the PLA click share increased to 0.24%.

PLA was a success by other metrics as well.  Google saw its clickthrough rates increase to 2.00% over Q4 2013.  However this came at the expense of cost per click rates, which decreased from $1.64 to $1.58 after experiencing an initial spike over Q3.

Mobile devices account for a significant portion of the growth.  Over Q4 2013, smartphone clicks increased 1,589%, up from Q4 2012.  Moreover, tablet device clicks increased 335.7%.  The overall click share on mobile devices increased to six times each year, rising from 4.2% to 24.3%.  Enhancing accessibility to mobile users, Google released an enhanced PLA in October 2013.

However, as a point of caution, the 2012 holiday season brought decreased PLA activity, according to a Marin Software report.  Yet it is projected that the 2013 holidays will bring an increase in mobile shopping and a renewed drive in clicks.

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